The studio that a tattoo artist calls home can have an enormous effect on their creativity. If a tattooer is in a shop that makes them miserable, chances are that their work will reflect it. But when in the perfect situation an artist can truly soar, and that is what has happened to Drew Linden at Brooklyn’s Eight of Swords.
“I think being able to work in a shop as magical and wonderful as Eight of Swords really allows me to do all of the things that I truly love to do, with the clientele who I truly love and respect,” Linden says. In this episode of SESSIONS we watch as Linden creates a traditional style nun, a tattoo that perfectly showcases many of the things that she draws inspiration from.
“I tend to be inspired by things like old religious texts and paintings, things from the 1800s,” Linden explains. “I’m also into occult and mysticism. I look to those books not only for inspiration for tattooing, but also my own spiritual journey. I really do enjoy going out into nature and also getting inspiration that way, through different experiences with people, plants and animals.”
Linden considers herself to be an intuitive tattooer. Simply put, this means that she has a very versatile style that can adapt to the needs and desires of her clients as she collaborates with them to create the tattoo of their dreams. Sometimes Linden works in an illustrative blackwork style reminiscent of woodcarving, other times she creates bold and bright traditional tattoos — it all depends on the collaboration between tattooer and client.
Versatility of style is just part of Linden’s game, she is also very versatile in the subject matter that she tattoos. While she often takes inspiration from the aforementioned spiritual sources, one of Linden’s main muses is far more lighthearted — kewpie dolls. Of course, she puts her own spin on the dolls created by Rose O’Neil by covering them in tattoos, or working them into a traditional rose design.
Like all of the other talented tattooers at Eight of Swords, Linden is driven by the collaborative atmosphere of the shop, and it’s that atmosphere that helps her art keeps evolving. We can’t wait to see what’s next for Linden!